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4 Reasons Why You Need to Visit Harlem

Published on December 19, 2017 by rae steinbach

Whenever people think of the Harlem neighborhood of NYC, they automatically think of African-American culture from music, literature, dance, and art. This neighborhood was particularly famous for the Apollo Theater and the Harlem Renaissance era of the 1920s.

The rich culture alone is enough of a reason for you to visit Harlem. However, there is more to see, eat, drink, and do in this northern part of NYC than you ever imagined. Did you know it’s also one of the best places to live for students in NYC thanks to its proximity to Columbia University? Or that one of the city’s most popular soul food restaurants, owned by a celebrity chef, is located here, too?

Here are a few reasons why Harlem should be one of your must-visit places:

1. A place rich in arts and culture.

In Harlem, you can hop from one museum to another and get an education on a range of topics. Cultural activities in Harlem are, unsurprisingly, easy to come by thanks to its rich history and heritage.

There’s the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture that depicts the history of the neighborhood’s African-American residents. Or you can ponder over the historic artworks by African-American artists at the Studio Museum of Harlem. They even give the spotlight to new works of minority performing artists at the Harlem Stage.

what to do in Harlem NYC

2. Drink the night away.

Harlem’s music and nightlife mainly revolves around the soulful sound of jazz. To take it all in, you can enjoy a cocktail or two inside bars with live jazz performers, like at Showman’s Jazz Club or Bier International. There’s also 67 Orange Street, which housed Almack’s Dance Hall, one of the first African American-owned bars in New York City.

When you go out for jazz in Harlem, you’re enjoying the essence of the neighborhood. Even better, you can often appreciate it with a great drink in hand!

3. Get yourself a taste of heaven.

Harlem’s music is most commonly known to have soul, but did you know there’s also such a thing as “soul-food”? Most restaurants like The Cecil show the wide range of what this style of cuisine includes. Here, you can order an American classic like clams casino, or go the comfort route with the house burger.  

You should also try cheap restaurants in Harlem, like Charles’ Country Pan-fried Chicken or the Harlem Food Bar. These establishments offer the unique flavors of Harlem when you’re on a budget.

4. Take yourself on a tour!

If you want to know more about Harlem from an expert there are plenty of Harlem tours that depict the history of the neighborhood, its residents, and everything you need to know about the place. Some of these specialize in food, architecture, music, or even jazz. Others will provide a more general overview and touch on all of these features.

You might want to try the Harlem Heritage Tours during your stay or the “Harlem Your Way!” tour. These options can give you historian-level insight into this great neighborhood and its wealth of culture.

If you’re looking for an apartment in Harlem, or just here on a long-term vacation, Short Term Rentals NYC has the inventory and expertise to help you find the place of your dreams. There’s no better way to get to know this neighborhood than by living in it! Let us help you find off-campus NYC housing in Harlem, or other accommodation in this neighborhood.

Category: Holiday Ideas